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Terms of Reference

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Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group

Terms of Reference

The Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group brings together representatives of Malmesbury Town Council, St Paul Malmesbury and Brokenborough Parish Councils, the Community Area Board, and other important stakeholders from the community. Officers from Wiltshire Council have been invited to assist the Steering Group but will not be full members. The main role of the Steering Group is to manage the production of a Neighbourhood Plan for the Malmesbury Neighbourhood Area, as set out in Appendix 1.

The community as a whole will be fully involved in the process through community consultation events and be informed of the Neighbourhood Steering Group’s work through the publication of the agenda, notes and papers of meetings on the Wiltshire Neighbourhood Planning Portal (WNPP) website (when it is available), hosted by Wiltshire Council.

The Neighbourhood Steering Group will be governed by an agreement to:

  • Update/develop and agree a vision for the area’s future which represents the aspirations of residents, against which future decisions and recommendations can be made.
  • Collect and evaluate (either directly or with the aid of advisors), accurate information which will identify the priorities for future proposals and plans for the area,      with specific focus on:

(i)         Identifying any local policy to complement that provided by the emerging Wiltshire Core Strategy and;

(ii)         Identifying any non-strategic sites for allocation to ensure adequate and appropriate housing and development land is available within the area for the plan period up to 2026.

  • During preparation of the plan inform decisions that are made on development proposals that may come forward.

Steering Group Membership - Organisations and representatives




Number of Representatives


MalmesburyTown Council


Malmesbury St Paul Without Parish Council


Brokenborough Parish Council


Malmesbury and Villages Community Area Partnership


Malmesbury and St Paul Without Residents’ Association


Malmesbury and District Chamber of Commerce


Malmesbury Civic Trust


Malmesbury River Valleys Trust


Malmesbury C of E Primary School


St Joseph’s Catholic School


Malmesbury Secondary School


Malmesbury Primary Care Centre


Malmesbury and District Conservation Group


Dyson Ltd


Youth organisation


High Street retailer


Representative from social landlord residents group


Athelstan House Care Home


Malmesbury Area Board Councillor


Wiltshire Councillor for Malmesbury




Wiltshire Council Spatial Planning (Advisor)



Membership of Individual Organisations


As far as possible membership from any single organisations should be generally restricted to one as additional representation may affect the balance of interests in the group. 

Members of the Steering Group should have the authority of the organisation they represent to represent the interests of that organisation. If a Steering Group Member is a member of more than one organisation they should declare their wider interest and limit their representation on the Steering Group to the organisation they have been nominated to represent.

Current scope of work

Future phases of work will need to be identified as the project develops. Initial phases are outlined below:

Scoping Phase

• Formalisation of the Neighbourhood Steering Group   

 • Initial research

 • Defining the project scope

 • Preparation of up to date vision

 • Identify issues and opportunities

 • Identify possible development sites which may need to be subject to more detailed analysis

 • Finalisation of a detailed project plan


• Future work will be determined by the Steering Group following the completion of the scoping phase and agreement of the detailed project plan. 

All Steering Group members are required to familiarise themselves with the original brief for the work and should ensure that their recommendations with regards to this piece of work are compliant with that brief.


The decisions made by the Steering Group will undoubtedly require compromise and consensus building; consequently members should ensure they are:

1. Able  and willing to make decisions and recommendations on behalf of their body/organisation. Town and Parish Council’s should delegate a representative to attend on behalf of their Council and will be responsible for relying information and decisions between their Council and the Steering Group.

2. Committed to helping to guide the preparation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan towards the identification and delivery of a shared vision

3. Willing to work with the Steering Group, accommodating views that are different from their own, seeking consensus and accepting compromise to reach agreement on the issues before the Steering Group.

4. Open minded and able to consider the whole picture, not seeking simply to promote sectional interests

5. Supportive and committed to the process and its implementation

In the interests of openness and transparency, notes and actions form all meetings to be made available on Wiltshire’s Neighbourhood Planning Portal.

Working Groups

Where appropriate the Steering Group may wish to establish sub-working-groups to drive discrete projects that would be responsible to report back to each meeting. Working groups can only be established with agreement of the Steering Group.

Responsibilities of Steering Group members:

• Commit to the development of the plan and attendance at all meetings. In the event that attendance is not possible, representations or comments will be accepted via email.  This should be submitted to the group no less than 3 days prior to the date of a meeting. Substitutes will be considered at the discretion of the Steering Group. 

• Consider progress reports and work undertaken and agree appropriate course of action.

• Agree community engagement and public consultation at appropriate stages to ensure that the information gathered is representative of those living within the area.

• Undertake analysis, interpretation and reporting of the results from community engagement and public consultation activities and ensuring that they inform decision-making (either directly, or with the aid of advisors).

• Ensure that any planning related documentation complies with Wiltshire Councils SCI and is appropriate for adoption.

• Provide information in the form of evidence to Wiltshire Council’s Spatial Planning Department to influence the development of Core Staretgy Policy relating to the area/ or to be consistent with any strategic policy once the Core Strategy is adopted. 

• Ensure consultation with and co-operation from key stakeholders to ensure the deliverability of project and strategy proposals.

• Promote the appropriate development of the area in accordance with the updated Vision and completed plan.   • The Steering Group can co-opt additional members to discuss particular issues where necessary or join the Steering Group if required.

• Consider additional Steering Group membership if required.

Relationship with Area Board

Although the Area Board has no formal role in relation to developing Neighbourhood Plans there will be formal representation from the Area Board on the Steering Group. It is important that any work of the Steering Group does not unnecessarily duplicate any existing or ongoing work (such as developing Community Plans). Wherever possible the Steering Group will work to ensure any Community Planning work informs the development of the Neighbourhood Plan and that opportunity for joint working is maximised.       

Commitment from Wiltshire Council Officers

Wiltshire Council will be performing an advisory role and should seek to ensure that all recommendations or outcomes of this process are in compliance with current policies and/or strategies, and are used to inform the future development of policies, strategies or direct implementation of work. An Officer from Spatial Planning (Directorate for Economy and Enterprise) will act as advisor and single point of contact for the authority. Responsibilities include:

• Responding to requests for information within agreed timescales.

• Proactively suggesting options and opportunities to overcome barriers to delivery.

• Bring in expertise as required from across the Council and other bodies/organisations to enable delivery.

• Assist with managing the programme to maximise value for money and access to available funding.

Steering Group Meetings

The Steering Group will meet at key stages in the development of the Neighbourhood Development Plan. Dates will be identified 12 months in advance from the first Neighbourhood Steering Group meeting.  Meeting venues to be agreed by the Steering Group and can be provided alternately by Malmesbury Town, Brokenborough Parish and St Paul Malmesbury Parish Councils.

The Steering Group members will receive an agenda paper for meetings at least 5 days prior to the meeting, which will be published on WNPP website.

Any documents which are to be considered prior to a meeting should be received at least 5 working days prior to a meeting via email.

Minutes of all meetings will be recorded and kept on file for reference, draft minutes of meetings will be circulated following each meeting after clearance by the Chair, following their appointment at the first meeting of the Steering Group.

Decision Making

All members of the Steering Group, with the exception of Wiltshire Council Employees, have an equal vote in decision making for the purpose of managing the project. However, decisions on milestones in the neighbourhood planning process will be in the form of recommendations to the three parish councils for their formal ratification to ensure legal requirements are met.

Steering Group members should declare an interest where there is a potential financial or pecuniary benefit to themselves, or their company / organisation arising from the recommendations of the Neighbourhood Development Plan process.

The Steering Group will seek to reach decisions by consensus where possible. Where a consensus cannot be reached it can be referred to the three parish councils for consideration or a meeting of the Malmesbury Area Board can be consulted as appropriate.

Terms of Reference

The three parish councils will be responsible for agreeing the terms of reference and any changes to them.

February 2012


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